Teaching Resources—Conflict: Introduction (including lesson plan with slides)

Throughout history, people have fought countless wars for countless reasons. Sometimes governments battle to seize another’s territory or resources. In other instances, compatriots fight to change their government or to form an independent country.

Although many of those drivers of conflict have stayed the same for thousands of years, the nature of conflict is changing. For example, wars between countries have declined since the end of World War II. That trend, however, does not mean we’re living in peaceful times, as wars within countries have become much more common. And although history books tell stories of soldiers fighting on battlefields, many modern conflicts are taking place in densely populated cities or in new settings such as cyberspace.

In this module, we will

  • explore how the decline in wars between countries does not mean that countries have stopped coming into conflict;
  • look at the various drivers, forms, and consequences of conflicts within countries;
  • break down the different threats facing civilians on today’s modern battlefields;
  • examine the legacy of three decades of conflict in Northern Ireland to make sense of what happens after conflicts end; and
  • learn about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and how alliances serve as powerful deterrents to conflict.
Referenced Module